Cameras forum

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4x6 Prints with 4x5.33 photos

by lciobanu / November 3, 2009 2:39 AM PST

Hello, I have a Canon SD990 IS camera and would like to get prints 4x6. However, photos are 4x5.33 with my camera and I always have to loose a little bit from the top and from the bottom of the photos. I do not understand why photo centers do not offer the possibility to print 4x5.33 on 4x6 paper leaving white the area from 5.33 to 6, so we could cut this white and get in a simple and cheap way 4x5.33 prints. Why do they have to increase image up to 4.5x6 so they cut 0.5 inch from top and bottom to get 4x6 ?
My camera offer the possibility of panoramic format which is 4416x2480 which corresponds to a ratio of 1.78/1 compared to 1.5/1 of that of 6x4 prints. This means a ratio of 7.12x4 compared to 6x4. If I'll go with such photos for prints at any photo center, they'll maintain my 4 inch width and cut symmetrically the half of 1.12 inches at right and left ? Or they'll reduce my image to fit the 6 inches length and leave white at the top and at the bottom ?

Finally, could you recommend me some compact flash digital cameras that offer the possibility to shot photos in 4x6 format ?

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4 x 6 prints and aspect ratio
by snapshot2 Forum moderator / November 3, 2009 5:12 AM PST

The aspect ratio is the relation between the horizontal and vertical sizes of the photo. To calculate the aspect ratio simple divide the width or a photo by its height. For example TV in normal mode has an aspect ratio of 4:3 or in other words if we were to divide the width of the screen by its height the result would be 4/3. Wide-screen TV format has an aspect ratio of 16:9.

Small digital cameras have an aspect ratio of 4:3, the same as the standard television screen.

Some small digital cameras can also be set to an aspect ratio of:
4:3 and 3:2 and 16:9

Most DSLR (digital single lens reflex) cameras have an aspect ratio of 3:2

The standard 6 x 4 inch photo paper has an aspect ratio of 3:2
which is also the aspect ratio for 35mm film.
So, if possible, set the camera to 3:2 to match 6 x 4 inch paper.

Most photo paper standards were set about 100 years ago.
10 x 8, 7 x 5 and 5 x 4 were the size of the film used in the original "press" cameras.
In this day and time, there are no new cameras that have such aspect ratios.

The 6 x 4 inch paper happened sometime after the 35mm camera became popular. Over 50 years ago.


Before I send any of my 4:3 photos to be printed, I use software to crop them the a 3:2 aspect ratio. That lets me decide what gets cropped out.

It would be nice if photo paper manufacturers came out with a standard paper for 4:3 aspect ratio.


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There is
by SX10 IS / November 4, 2009 6:09 AM PST

Snapfish offers prints of 4x5.3 or something like that, if it detects that your picture was captured with a digital camera.

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Are you sure they print 4x5.3 prints?
by hjfok / November 7, 2009 7:33 AM PST
In reply to: There is

I only see 4x6 option in

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Photo Formats
by roymer / November 9, 2009 7:01 AM PST

It has always been a source of annoyance to me that the 35mm format, used for years and years in cameras, was studiously ignored by the North American industry which produced "enlargements" in 8x10 size in photos and frames which had no relation to the shape of the photos being made by the camera owners. 8x10 was a "standard" size for photo paper but it is short of being "standard" for the industry it caters to. A photo printing shop will produce a 8x10 "standard" print which has large pieces of the photo hacked off. 35mm negatives are 24x36mm, an exact 2:3 ratio and nothing like what is sold to put them in. A 35mm photo enlarged would properly be, say, 8x12 with no part of the pic chopped off. You actually have to tell the photo-shop that you want "full frame" so that they do not butcher your pics to 8x10. The problem of cropping to make these photos fit the odd-sized frames is widespread and ruins the care taken by the photographer in planning the shot. Now we see varying ratios used by the digital camera makers. They cannot get their acts together, clearly. I guess it would be like tire-makers building tires which did not fit on the wheels of the cars the tires were meant for.

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Crop photos to 4X6
by lciobanu / November 9, 2009 8:37 AM PST
In reply to: Photo Formats

Thank you four your answer ! I agree with you about 8x10 format..which should actually be 8x12. I cannot stand the fact that 4x5.33 prints are much more expensive and you get a lower price only when you get prepaid cards for hundreds of prints...
I often use Irfanview to process my photos. Irfanview gives you some possibilities to process many photos simultaneously. However, I am not aware if this software provide a fast, "thumbnails kind" of way to crop pictures from 4X5.33 (4.5X6) to 4x6. Do you know other software that offers a fast way to crop photos before going to print them ? I prefer to butcher the photos myself Happy

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4 x 5.3 prints
by hjfok / November 7, 2009 7:23 AM PST

Here are a couple of online print services that offer some odd size prints:

I like the Mpix, it has very high quality prints (used by many pros and those who are serious about their print quality) but costs more.

I usually just do a quick crop on my photo using the manufacturer's photo editing software to get the exact size or aspect ratio I want. But if you are a very maticulous photographer who frames your shots exactly without any room to do any cropping, then there are online services that can print these, like the one above.

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Prints of all sizes
by jjaslow / November 9, 2009 10:23 AM PST

Mimosa Digital ( offers 4x5.33 size prints at the same price as 4x6 prints. They also print many other non-standard size prints such as the above mentioned 8x12.

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by Krisduck / November 9, 2009 1:05 PM PST
In reply to: Prints of all sizes

If I get what the OP's saying, they'd rather white on the sides than losing part of the image? I'm thinking most image software (Photoshop and even MS Paint has it) allows you to expand/stretch the canvas size so you've got whitespace on the side(s), then you can cut it down to size or leave it as is.

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Choose crop option "fit"
by photocards4everything / February 24, 2010 3:23 AM PST

Several sites allow you to choose "fit all" under there crop options. Winkflash is one and Mpix another, as a previous poster recommended. It is not necessary to order the odd more expensive size if you are willing to cut off the white area, just choose 4x6 and be sure to adjust the crop options to fit the whole photo.

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